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Amid Pandemic, Charlotte Mayor Says $110M Is Still Set Aside For Soccer

City of Charlotte
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said Tuesday the city has still set aside $110 millin for Major League Soccer -- even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said Tuesday there are no plans to use $110 million in tourism taxes that was set aside for Major League Soccer to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lyles said in December the city made a "financial commitment" to Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, whose MLS team is expected to begin play in 2021. 

The city doesn't know how it will spend the $110 million, which will comes from taxes on hotel rooms, as well as a restaurant and bar tabs. Possibilities include helping Tepper pay for a new headquarters and practice facility at Eastland Mall; renovating Bank of America Stadum; and building a new entertainment district near the stadium. 

Lyles has said that the city will wait until long-term plans for the area near Bank of America Stadium are finished before spending the $110 million. She said on Tuesday that was still the plan.

"Until that effort is completed, our long-term plan is completed, then we will not be allocating any of that money," she said during a virtual news conference with reporters.

Lyles did say the city will look to use tourism dollars to help the hospitality industry, but she didn't elaborate.

Council members on Monday discussed whether the city could spend some of its $116 million in reserves.

And Charlotte and Mecklenburg County could each receive $200 million from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus. 

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